4.2 Striker Questions – Types (VL)

4.2 Striker Question Types

How do we uncover and prioritize a customer’s true motives, needs, goals, and also expand the buying criteria?

The answer is deeper and more skilled probing through the use of Striker Questions.

In this module we will cover how to use Striker Questions to probe deeper and broader to uncover needs and engage the customer in a provocative dialogue.

Validate questions quantify or articulate desired results. 

For example:

  • What is your percentage growth plan for the year?
  • What is your current margin, and what increase in margin do you need to achieve this year?

Challenge questions provide 3rd party information or executive statements to react to thus providing the customer with a reality check.

For example:

  • Your growth rate is 5%, yet your top competitor grew 10% – why the difference? 
  • Your prices are 5% higher than your 3 top competitors – how will you demonstrate ROI for a higher price?

Compare questions analyze a hierarchy of values. 

For example: 

  • What are the major differences in market pressures today, vs. two years ago? 
  • How is this project launch more complicated than the last one?

Rank questions identify and gain agreement on the buyer’s needs, and goals. 

For example:

  • What are the top 3 challenges you face today in gaining market share? 
  • What are the three greatest threats to achieving margin goals?

Shock questions introduce hypotheticals that elevate the risk of not acting. In other words, “what would happen if…”

For example: 

  • What is the impact on your manufacturing costs, if your supply chain is interrupted? 
  • What will happen to your sales revenue if you lose 5% of the market share? 

Futurize questions present future upsides, ask for the ideal result, or focus on the potential benefit.

For example: 

  • What would have to happen to bring this project in on time and under budget? 
  • If you were able to free up 10% of your person-hours on this project, what else could you accomplish? 

The best Striker Questions are those that not only the salesperson doesn’t know the answer to, but your customer also doesn’t know the answer to until you ask the question.

Remember – your customers are well informed – they may know as much about you and your competitors as you do. Asking the same old boring questions your customers already know the answers to – will most often cause them to disengage. 

Striker Questions are provocative by design – designed to provoke a response.